The Story Book – David Baboulene – Partial Review

I’ve not yet finished reading The Story Book, but wanted to post my thoughts before David’s stop here on Tuesday.

The Story Book is definitely one I’m pleased to add to my writer’s bookshelf and a book I’m sure I will refer to many times while I’m editing my books.

David begins with an explanation of what Story means to society and how humans may have come to use narrative to pass on information and instructions to each other and to the next generations.

In a story, the characters, through various conflicts, successes, and failures play out a situation and the means to accomplish a certain goal. When the reader identifies with the situations and outcomes experienced by the characters, the story resonates with the reader and s/he learns from it. Stories have historically provided “signposts” or instructions for navigating society’s hierarchy. When story after story over generations reaffirms the same messages, the stories “shape our minds”.
(Paraphrased from page 24 of The Story Book)

This exposition resonated with me because the project I’ll soon be launching involves reworking fairytales to offer an alternative to parents concerned about the patriarchal subtext of the traditional Grimm and Disney versions and how these stories have "shaped the minds" of children in the past.

Most writers think they must write subtext in order to deliver an underlying story. This is wrong... If the story is created using knowledge gaps, then the real story is received in subtext."
David Baboulene, The Story Book, page 30.

Subtext, and how to generate it effectively within a story, forms the heart of The Story Book. Author David Baboulene is currently writing a Ph.D thesis, which includes the theory that the more subtext a story contains the more satisfying the reader/audience finds it. If you haven't previously considered subtext as an important element of your storytelling, this book is a must-read.

David explains the nuts and bolts of various structural techniques very clearly. The movie Back to the Future is the main story example in this section and since this is a movie series I have seen numerous times I found it very easy to follow David’s reasoning so far.

The Story Book is a good companion to take on your writing journey. Beginner writers might benefit from waiting until they have completed at least a first draft before delving into this book as the level of detailed analysis and academic presentation could be overwhelming. More advanced writers may find The Story Book useful for the planning phase of a manuscript as well as for editing and revision.

David Baboulene's website
The Story Book is published by DreamEngine Media Ltd., 2010, and is available from Amazon UK, and on Kindle from

My review copy was sent to me by the author.

The Story Book – David Baboulene – Partial Review

2 thoughts on “The Story Book – David Baboulene – Partial Review

  • Tuesday at 10:49 AM

    Well, I’m definitely going to ad this to my birthday wish list. It sounds like the kind of book I need to read. I really enjoyed your review!

  • Tuesday at 4:51 PM

    I think you would get a lot out of this book Selma. Your stories use subtext to great depth.

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